ANC: The Broken Record of a Broken Party

ANC: The Broken Record of a Broken Party

ANC: The Broken Record of a Broken Party

The writing’s been on the wall for decades, and yet it seems that the only ones who can’t seem to read it are the ones who graffitied the writing onto the walls in the first place – the ANC. 

What transpired at the ANC provincial elective conference in July 2022 is not merely a sign of things to come, but a vivid biography of the hard work and effort which party leaders have put into the systematic desecration of everything the party once stood for. 

From martyrs to martinets 

The story of the ANC is not a new one. Throughout history we’ve seen how the oppressed become the oppressor. The psychology behind it is pretty simple: 

 – Those who are mistreated, abused or oppressed are nurtured to act violently, distrust others and perpetuate abusive behaviours. 
 – Research shows that people who become leaders are 20% more likely to have narcissistic or psychopathic behavioural disorders than the rest of society. 

While the nature v nurture debate has been brewing for ages, most psychologists believe that one’s personality and behaviours are a combination of both one’s innate (natural) traits (those things you are born with) and your environment (the things you experience and are exposed to). 

Why do people keep voting ANC?

While many people don’t understand the logic behind the public support for the ANC, the rationale behind it does make sense. 

The simple explanation is that there simply isn’t an alternative for the racial and cultural majority of South Africa. While the White minority (and to an extent the Coloured, Indian and other races in SA), it makes sense to vote for the DA, FF+, Cope, UDM, ACDP and Minority Front (among others). The fact of the matter is that it is mainly fear that drives voting behaviour – for the black majority the fear that white leadership will once more impose the injustices of the past remains top of mind. 

It’s not hard to see how the majority of South Africans who live in poverty believe that leaders like Pieter Groenewald for the FF+ and John Steenhuisen for the DA are disconnected from the man on the street. Both men have been slammed for commentary seen as racist and classist. 

The biggest problem, it seems, is that most political parties have jumped on the sensation and slander bandwagon mastered most effectively by Julius Malema when he was still an ANC lovechild. This isn’t a South African phenomena – we’ve seen the effects of stooping in political systems across the world, from the USA and Australia to the UK, Brazil, South Korea, France, Germany, Nigeria and elsewhere. 

It’s not hard to let your opponent stoop to your level if your debating acumen is on par with most 6-year-olds on a playground. While such tactics are a quick fix for winning minor tiffs and creating social traction, they aren’t effective when one’s aim should be the long game. 

But the ANC and EFF aren’t empowering people

This is of course a pretty obvious argument against continued voting for the ANC and EFF. And while these parties do have major votership, one can look to the turnout of the last elections to note that the public aren’t as blind as we tend to believe


Population: 40 436 000
Voting age population: 23 063 910
Registered voters: 22 709 152 
Total votes: 19 726 610 
Voter turnout: 86.87%


Population: 42 424 823
Voting age population: 25 411 573
Registered voters: 18 177 000 
Total votes: 16 222 462 
Voter turnout: 89.28%


Population: 42 768 678
Voting age population: 27 944 712
Registered voters: 20 674 926 
Total votes: 15 863 554 
Voter turnout: 76.73%


Population: 49 052 489
Voting age population: 31 678 238
Registered voters: 23 181 997 
Total votes: 17 919 966 
Voter turnout: 77.30%


Population: 54 002 000
Voting age population: 34 691 652
Registered voters: 25 388 082 
Total votes: 18 654 771 
Voter turnout: 73.46%


Population: 55 918 443
Voting age population: 37 372 792
Registered voters: 26 756 649 
Total votes: 17 671 616 
Voter turnout: 66.05%

These numbers tell a pretty clear story of South Africans’ trust in their political leaders. What’s even more telling is that those who have refrained from voting are primarily the youth – those who received a better education than most of their elders had before them. 

The youth simply aren’t swayed by the fancy words and promises made by a government who doesn’t have their interest at heart. Across the world we’re seeing a disillusionment with leaders who are simply too old and out of touch with the youth of today – more concerned with wars, oil and fattening their purses than addressing challenges of poverty, global warming, healthcare and modernising their democracies. 

While the youth are generally dismayed by the despots in seats of power – older voters are still swayed by nostalgia. This holds especially true for parties like the ANC, FF+ and IFP. While someone like Mmusi Maimane did manage to attract a more diverse voter to the DA – many people found him to be disingenuous and insincere. He seemed to mimic the style of Barrack Obama, with similar campaign speeches which – while highly motivational at times – seemed to lack an authenticity and personal creed which South Africans need and want from their leaders. 

Getting wrecked by the ANC RET

The heartland of the ANC – KwaZulu Natal – has been restored to what it once was. Or, perhaps it’s simply that leaders realised that the way to cling to their power following major losses in Johannesburg, Pretoria, Ekurhuleni and Gqeberha among others.

The KZN is, after all, the place which supported (and still supports) ousted criminal Jacob Zuma from his tax-paid throne. 

The problem with the slow-moving hand of true transformation in South Africa is that it served as the perfect catalyst for fuelling greed and corruption. Too many people who had been waiting for justice and equality realised over time that the best way to get ahead was to simply follow the example of their friends, mentors, family and leaders. 

The ANC RET is not just gaining significant traction back from their party leader – Cyril Ramaphosa – but from others in his camp as well. The Zuma party is resembling a rave or rock festival which has gone on too long. The neverenders at this 

While some news outlets seem to infer that the ANC KZN are holding their cards close to their chest – it seems more obvious that they’re simply reshuffling the same deck they’ve been using all along. One doesn’t need to count cards to know what hand they’re dealing or what odds they’re betting for and against. They seem content to let Ramaphosa ride out his last leg with tattered sails, trailing anchors and rudders made from the same material used in Eskom stations. 

While the ‘leaders’ opposing the Ramaphosa faction are certainly doing all they can to destabilise his leadership – they aren’t doing all they can. Social sway and support are certainly crucial to gaining the upper hand, but one needs money for such things. While Mbeki may have been a sound economist, he wasn’t a businessman in the same sense as the man in charge at the moment: foreign nations and investors have been more supportive of Ramaphosa’s leadership than most previous leaders. He has, for instance, succeeded in more personal business ventures than many other international leaders. 

The death rattle of a dying party

The thing is: most South Africans are aware of the games played within the ruling faction at present.  It is unlikely that the ANC will retain power in the decade to come. 

It’s not about the amount of power, however, but how long the party will try to resuscitate their dying limbs. How long will the death rattle eco before it stills and we can start again? We’ve witnessed first hand how readily they will resort to violence, theft, thuggery, corruption, arson – whether they have to destroy the lives and livelihoods of the very people they claim to represent or simply raid public purses. 

Even if the ANC finally breaths its last breath, the rigor mortis of the political corpse is likely to yield long-term consequences which are as devastating as Apartheid or the corruption which followed in the wake of the Mandela leadership. If we could not manage to create a proper democracy with all the tools handed to us over the previous 28 years – how long will the legacy of corruption, cultural vandalism and human rights atrocities last once they’re gone? 

Rome was built over hundreds of years. And Rome, much like Britain, Portugal, Spain, Denmark, the USA, North Korea, Saudi Arabia and Japan was built on the backs of plundered nations. If the Queen of England was allowed to make a new law in 2017 which prohibits her own people from searching her vast treasure chests for stolen loot acquired over centuries of colonial subjugation and desecration – what chances do the South African people have of recovering any theft, loot or wastage from our leaders (regardless of their caste, culture or creed). 

Should we follow the narrative of the Zumas, Queen Elizabeths, Yameens, Trumps, Abachas, Amins, Bidens, Theophanouses, Fujimoris, Bolsonaros, Kadyrov, Alis, Yanukovyches, Martinellis, Verwoerds, Razaks, Bothas, Gürtels, Obiangs, Moraleses, Johnsons, Erdoğans, Kabilas, Putins, Babišes, Geun-hyes and Bin Salmans?

Should we shrug our shoulders? Should we tell people that they are to blame for that which has been stolen from them? Should we just put them on a ship, throw them in a jail, torture them or send them off somewhere else where we can’t hear their complaints? Should we rage against the dying of the light or call it quits?

Calling it quits?

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